Among many of its grants and scholarships, Creighton University gives a grant to the Nebraska Victim Assistance Academy (NEVAA) and will be hosting NEVAA’s inaugural academy in early August.
The Academy provides 40-hour training sessions for professionals who work with victims of crime. One of the goals of this organization is to standardize the training that professionals in Nebraska receive.
The training sessions include activities that reflect every day situations, along with ways to apply the information from the activities into professionals’ work, according to Lauren Pilnick, the project coordinator of NEVAA and a professor in the department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work at Creighton University.
“The curriculum spans topics and skills such as ethics, underserved or underrepresented populations, communication skills, secondary victimization and self-care, technology-facilitated crime, coordinated community response, the justice systems, working with child victims and their families, human trafficking, sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking, elder abuse, general crime, victim rights and de-escalation techniques,” Pilnick said.
This academy and training is necessary among professionals in Nebraska, as many of them need standardized training in working with victims of crime.
“It is amazing when one thinks about how many individuals from a variety of professions come into contact with victims of crime: doctors, nurses, teachers, insurance agents, attorneys, police officers — many of whom have little to no training in dealing appropriately with victims. This academy would provide a baseline training to professionals who come into contact with victims, and is not limited to any specific field,” Rebecca Murray, the co-writer of Creighton’s NEVAA grant and a Sociology and Anthropology professor at Creighton, said.
Many programs that offer such services can be costly for participants, but such is not the case for NEVAA as they receive grants from the federal government and Creighton and are academic partners with the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
“The Academy’s grant allows for the majority of the participants’ costs to be paid for by the grant,” Pilnick said. “This is a scenario that we will not encounter in future years.”
Because Creighton has contributed financially and is an academic partner in the creation and present state of the Academy, the inaugural Academy, which marks the first offering of the State Victim Assistance Academy in Nebraska, will take place on Creighton’s campus on Aug. 5 through Aug. 9, in which training sessions will be held throughout the five days.
“Creighton saw an opportunity to bring Nebraska into the majority of states that had a State Victim Assistance Academy,” Pilnick said.
According to Pilnick, professionals who are interested in participating can apply soon. She also recommends “liking” the Nebraska Victim Assistance Academy page on Facebook and signing up for the listserv for those serving victims of crime at http://lists.creighton.edu/mailman/listinfo/nevaainfo. For more information, you can contact her at LaurenPilnick@creighton.edu.
Written by: Madeline Zukowski